Apparently “Scrolls” Infringes on “The Elder Scrolls”

For those of you who don’t know, Notch-you guys know Notch, right? Guy behind the smash hit Minecraft?- and some of the folks at Mojang have been working on a game known as Scrolls. Near as I can tell, it’s going to be a virtual CCG. All things considered, that sounds pretty awesome, doesn’t it? According to PC Gamer;

You play Scrolls online against other players, or offline in a campaign mode. Each player chooses a selection of scrolls, representing creatures, spells and structures under their control, and chooses where to place them on a game board.

“The board is divided so that you control one side each.” says Jakob. “As your units attack, they charge across your opponent’s side of the board and will damage him unless blocked. As every unit comes with a variety of different abilities, it’s not as simple as just placing your units in front of your opponent’s to feel safe. You will need to pay close attention to the positioning of you opponents units, siege weapons and building and adjust your strategy according to that.”

On a broader level, the game is about acquiring those cards: players can buy packs of randomly selected cards for real money, or earn them for free by playing the single player campaign against the AI. Some cards can only be bought, others can only be earned, but all can be traded on the auction house for in-game currency.

Oh, yeah. Totally looks like Skyrim to me.

Add in the fact that it’s going to have a backstory composed by Penny Arcade’s Jerry Holkins; and…well, seems to me you’ve got a winning recipe.  I know I’m probably going to be picking this game up when it launches, and I can think of a few friends who will most definitely want to do the same. Now, those of you reading about the game…I have a question for you. does it sound in any way similar to The Elder Scrolls? Do you think there’s any possible way that you could end up confusing the two? No?

TL;DR: "We don't like the name of your new game."

Apparently, Bethesda-or at least someone in their legal deparment- thinks so. According to them, the title of Notch’s new game infringes on The Elder Scrolls franchise(yes, just the title) and claims that fans of TES will “confuse” the two.  In what has to be one of the most absurd moves in recent gaming history, they apparently sent a fifteen page letter to tell Notch what I just told you guys in one sentence. Uh….yeah.

Now, to be fair, no legal action has actually been taken against Notch at this point in time.  A lot of people are saying this is a joke.  I…think I agree with them. They can’t be serious- this has to be a hoax; a joke of some kind. Because if it’s not…

I remember this one time, I totally didn't know the difference between Mario Kart and Mario Tennis.

I think they need to fire their damned legal department.

For his part, Notch is taking the whole thing with a grain of salt. A recent tweet reads “I still ❤ Bethesda. Hopefully this is just lawyers being lawyers.”  I’m with him on this one. From what I know about Bethesda, they really don’t seem the type to be so…pigheadedly overzealous of something they can’t really place a copyright on in the first place. If it were possible to patent a single word in the title of a game, we’d all be paying some pretty hefty royalties to Blizzard for the use of the words “War,” “World,” and “Craft.”

I’m going to reach out to Bethesda to see if I can’t get them to comment on the matter. I’ll keep you folks posted with what I find out.

Via Notch, Rock Paper Shotgun

Image Credits:  PC Gamer, Geek.comNotch,


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